Saturday, March 30, 2013

A new flight test by Vianney Riller Jr ?

Vianney Riller Jr is a pilot, Aerospace & Defense analyst, columnist for Defesanet.

As reported on Twitter, we are waiting forward the publication of its flight onboard the Rafale.

 Already, Mr Vianney Riller Jr has published some pictures on his account :

AASM laser for Mali

News from Air & Cosmos : Operation Serval, in Mali, demonstrated the need for a weapon capable of engaging a fast moving target.

This is the reason why a crash program was launched, and as a result, the AASM laser (capable of hitting a target moving at 80kmph) is going to be declared operational on Rafale in a few days, months earlier than initially planned.

Previously, on RafaleNews :
Laser AASM first strike on a fast moving target

AESA news

According to Guillaume Steuers (who writes for Air&Cosmos), at the end of the last month, an AESA equiped Rafale has fired a Mica, as part of its OPEVAL.

Picture of Rafale M02 firing a Mica, years ago. Credits : MBDA

More recently, the only AESA available for OPEVAL was installed onboard a twin seater Rafale, the B305. The quick operation lasted 2 hours.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mali, Rafale pictures of the day

After 2 months of operation, French Air Force Rafale continue to support the Franco-African troops on the ground.
Most of the sorties consist in Close Air Support and recce missions over the Ifoghas mountains requiring several air refueling with allied tankers.
The set of pictures below,  dated march 17th, shows a US KC135 refueling a Rafale B loaded with GBU-12 bombs and a Damocles LDP. It's difficult to say for sure, but something might have gone wrong as the fighter refueling probe seems broken on the last shot, with fuel still leaking from the tip of the probe.